NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Seminar Series – Request for Top/Competitive Students

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) solicitation has been published and a new website launched (http://www.nsfgrfp.org/. Michigan Tech students have historically done well with a 20% success rate (national average) of being funded through the GRFP.  With a goal of reaching 30% success rate, the Research Development Office will be sponsoring a series of workshops and seminars aimed at advising current or prospective Michigan Tech graduate students in developing competitive GRFP application packages.

NSF provides a stipend of $32,000 (potentially $34,000 for 2015) to the Fellow and a cost-of-education allowance of $12,000 to the graduate degree-granting institution for each Fellow utilizing the fellowship support in a fellowship year.

Please encourage faculty and advisors to forward me (nichopp@mtu.edu) names of your top students for our office to invite to participate in our NSF GRFP workshops/seminars.  More specifically, our office will send out a special/individual invite letting students know they have been identified by a faculty/chair/dean (name inserted) as “a competitive candidate” for the NSF GRFP.  The invite is often received as recognition in itself, as it should be.  In the past, this type of invitation has given students the confidence and motivation to put the time and effort into applying.  And of course, it is also a strategic move to maximize faculty and our office’s time in advising students most likely to succeed.  In addition, NSF has made it clear that the practice of requiring all students to apply to the NSF GRFP for the purpose of gaining proposal development experience is not a practice the agency endorses or encourages.

Note students who already have internal University/department funding are strongly encouraged to apply.  This in turn will free up internal funds for less competitive students.

We will be forwarding to you a final schedule for the workshop/seminar series.  Below are more details about eligibility and what we have observed as being necessary to be competitive among the best of the best students across the nation.

To be eligible for the NSF GRFP, students must:

  • be a US citizen, US national, or permanent resident
  • intend to pursue a research-based Master’s or Ph.D. program in an NSF-supported field
  • be enrolled in an eligible program at an accredited United States graduate institution, with a US campus, by fall 2015
  • have completed no more than twelve months of full-time graduate study (or the equivalent) as of August 1, 2014, or meet the criteria for the extenuating circumstance described in Section IV of the Program Solicitation.
  • meet all other eligibility requirements as set forth in the current Program Solicitation

To be competitive we encourage students to apply who have:

  • a 3.5 GPA or higher
  • research and outreach experience
  • strong faculty references – letters of recommendation need to be exceptional

During the semester, there will be other workshops aimed at additional funding opportunities through different agencies, as well as, scholarship opportunities for international students.

Contact:
Natasha Chopp
Research Development & Marketing Manager  
Michigan Technological University
Vice President for Research
202B Lakeshore Center
906.487.1115
nichopp@mtu.edu
www.superiorideas.org
 

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